Thanks, taken tonight with 50mmf1.2 wide open at MFD.
Thanks, taken tonight with 50mmf1.2 wide open at MFD.
Thanks all and no hard feeling!!
It is through such vigorous exchange that we learn ... or confuse ourselves.
I think it is a good exercise to air what has been arguing for many years and how various interpretations has influenced us on the understanding of the word Bokeh.
Depth of field (DOF), refers to the area of an image that is in focus ie. The Subject. Irregardless of whether it has a wide DOF or a Narrow DOF as long as the subject matter is in focus and it meet the photogs objective in presenting the image as he sees in his minds eyes.
No one take a photo purely for the bokeh and forgot about the main subject, except me in trying to prove a point went ahead and took the bokeh shot with a canon 24-70 L wide open and intentionally put it out of focus to get those dounut shape bokeh on street lights 400 meters away . It is how the Bokeh works with the main subject that matter, hence the reference to the quality of a Bokeh to the main subject . The quality aspect of a bokeh is hence subjective and only valid in a specific setting , whether it enhances or distract the viewer from the main subject, more or less blur might not work as well . However,not all good bokeh will enhance a subject, one factor is whether the tone and shade of the bokeh can harmonious blend with and enhance the subject.
In most photographic situation you are likely to see images where the main subject is in focus, unless narrow DOF is used to accentuate or emphasize a particular feature of the subject. The area that covers the focused area is where the DOF was intended to be and as long as it is sufficient to cover the subject the way the photog wants it.... it meet the creator's requirement.The resultant background could likely be out of focus or totally blured when Narrow DOF is intentionally use.
Some on the net went further to add that blur area due to shallow DOF should not be called bokeh. What then define bokeh ? Nothing in the defination specify what is excluded as bokeh. The degree of blur or Bokeh is tied to DOF for the main subject no doubt . But to those advocates that says shallow DOF is not Bokeh . This will have to be qualified further by defining what range of F/setting(DOF) on the main subject is considered a DOF blur and not a Bokeh. A few also explained that this blur must have some texture or contrast to qualify as a bokeh. But virtual that you can see the blur it shows that it has some different shade in the composition of the Blur . So how do one quantify this shades then to qualify it as bokeh?
Bokeh to some also means the appearance of light that is seen within the blured part of the photograph . some even go to the extend by advocating the light has to be from a point source, hence the many that illustrate bokeh with donut shape light blur from a point source. To me this light may not neccessarily be a point source , all that you can see in the OOF area are reflected light, if not you see black and there is no bokeh to speak of.
Another argurment is how can the word bokeh mean 'the quality of the OOF'? If one were to state that the canon XX/50mm lens produces Bokeh . The listener will be non the wiser as to what he meant, as all lens produce Bokeh be it good or bad, depending on wheter it complement the main subject, and never by itself. It also has to be qualified with good, bad, distracting.
So to some Bokeh is the blur that the interpreter with his little h added to the Japanese word Boke intended it to be.... just Blur. My guess is just like us this new words in English prick the interest of photographers and they were trying to interpret this exotic foreign word and ended up adding various enbellishment of meaning of it before Bokeh entered the English dictionary as 'quality of Blur"
Whatever it is to me a blur is a blur, how good or bad this blur is , is very subjective. Our headache is photogs all over the world are having different bokeh standard and we are also ""Bokeh like sotong"", depending on where we read from, trying to interpret what a whiteman meant by referring to these sites the translation of a Japanese word.LOL
Last edited by Bluesteel; 5th December 2009 at 02:05 AM.
Getting to your image, I would not call it a 'bokeh shot' because that = 'quality of OOF areas shot' i.e. meaningless, similar to calling it a 'sharpness shot'.
You could call it a 'good bokeh shot', if you think it displays good bokeh, i.e. if you like the quality of the OOF areas. The size of the circle-of-confusion (COC - what a point turns into when it is not in focus) is not the important issue, good quality is about soft, gradual softening towards the edges.
From what I understand, your shot is an example of neutral bokeh - even tone through the COC, which is characteristic of a good lens. (more info, if you want it -- http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm)
'Shallow DOF blur shot' is odd too, because, well, the whole image is OOF. Now if you focused on someone in the foreground, leaving the lights in the background to go out of focus, you could call that a 'Shallow DOF blur shot', but a better and more accepted term is Selective Focus shot.
Why am I resistant to using 'Shallow DOF'? You can show bokeh (good or bad) with a deep DOF shot, as long as there are some areas OOF. This is probably more common with Foreground blur -- no one said bokeh only applies to Background blur, right?
One question -- you mentioned "The lens use is immaterial as some mentioned in one of the post". Where was that from -- because as you know, image bokeh is a result of the lens used.
Thanks for trying to interpret the "Bokeh" shot and the Link !
I must have mis-understood the highlighted text on this particular post of yours in reply to Anthony at Post #31, if so my sincere apologies!
Perhaps its just a choice of words, but you seem to have taken offence at Rendition's comments -- I don't think his intention was to criticise, but merely to point out that it's difficult to judge bokeh, the quality of the OOF areas, in your and Bluesteel's shots because they were so far OOF and lacking in details and contrast. Either highlights or some details would help, as displayed in the earlier example by Soons (not very nice bokeh, as he says). I don't see the point of bringing up what other lenses you could have used -- it is irrelevant and no one is impugning your photographic skills.
Last edited by Bluesteel; 5th December 2009 at 03:10 AM.
Bokeh does not refer to the OOF area. You actually said it in your first line above -- bokeh refers to the quality of the OOF area, or more accurately to the quality of all the OOF areas in the image.
Translating "Bokeh => Quality of OOF areas" into "Bokeh => OOF areas" doesn't make sense, does it?
Quality here refers to how nicely the OOF areas are rendered -- you can see the diff in my earlier HDB examples. Your baby photo displays good bokeh (IMHO) -- the OOF areas (next to the door in particular) blur nicely.
If you had used a smaller aperture, the DOF would be increased, and the background blur would be lower, but that doesn't mean less or worse bokeh, just less blurring. The quality or 'character' of the blurring would be the same.
Re your second question, why someone said your and Bluesteel's images couldn't display bokeh -- in order to judge or appreciate the bokeh of an image, there must be some detail in the OOF areas. In the 2 images, the OOF areas are so OOF that there is almost no detail.
In my earlier testing, I took 2 very OOF shots, one with my 'good bokeh' lens, the other with the 'bad bokeh' setup:
Good Bokeh - far OOF
Bad Bokeh - far OOF
It is harder to tell the difference between the bokeh of these than my earlier, less OOF shots, right? Despite the fact that there is some tonal variation. In Bluesteel's butterfly shot, the background is almost flat. It works for the shot, and is a great example of Selective Focus, but the quality of the OOF areas is hard to discern.
Hope that clears things up.
i am frequently amazed how much can be talked about a simple word.
Bluesteel, u r right. A lot factor to form this nice 'bokeh'
There is no formula for this!
Last edited by icelava; 5th December 2009 at 09:35 PM.
DOF is DOF.
Bokeh is Bokeh.
Two different things but latter cannot exist without the former it seems.
Bokeh, while generally regarded as an adjective, can be quantified in terms of physics and complex laws that (probably) no layman ever wants to get into.
But the qualification of Bokeh is where most people end up debating the most.